Author Interviews, Diabetes, Vegetarians, Weight Research / 12.06.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_35233" align="alignleft" width="200"]Hana Kahleova, MD, PhD</strong> Director of Clinical Research at Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine Charles University in Prague Dr. Kahleova[/caption] Hana Kahleova, MD, PhD Director of Clinical Research at Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine Charles University in Prague MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The vegetarian diet was found to be almost twice as effective in reducing body weight, resulting in an average loss of 6.2kg compared to 3.2kg for the conventional diet. Using magnetic resonance imaging, we studied adipose tissue in the subjects’ thighs to see how the two different diets had affected subcutaneous, subfascial and intramuscular fat. We found that both diets caused a similar reduction in subcutaneous fat. However, subfascial fat was only reduced in response to the vegetarian diet, and intramuscular fat was more greatly reduced by the vegetarian diet.
Author Interviews, Microbiome, Nutrition / 07.06.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_35131" align="alignleft" width="101"]Prof. Avraham A. Levy Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences Weizmann Institute of Science Rehovot Israel Prof. Levy[/caption] Prof. Avraham A. Levy Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences [caption id="attachment_35135" align="alignleft" width="100"]Prof-Eran-Elinav.jpg Prof. Elinav[/caption] Prof. Eran Elinav Department of Immunology [caption id="attachment_35137" align="alignleft" width="100"]Prof-Eran-Segal.jpg Prof. Segal[/caption] Prof. Eran Segal Department of Computer Science And Applied Math Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot Israel MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?  Response: We performed a type of clinical trial that is very powerful in comparing short term effects of interventions - a crossover trial. In this trial, each subject is compared to themselves; in our case, we compared increased short-term (1 week) consumption of industrial white bread vs. matched consumption of artisanal sourdough-leavened whole-wheat bread - which we originally viewed as radical opposites in terms of their health benefits. We measured various clinical end points - weight, blood pressure, various blood tests - and also the gut microbiome. To our great surprise, we found no difference between the effects those two breads had on the various end points that we measured. This does not mean that bread consumption had no effect - but that this effect was generally similar for its two types. In fact, when we analyzed our data when pooling together the two bread types (i.e., testing whether bread of any type had an effect), we found that just one week of bread consumption resulted in statistically significant changes to multiple clinical parameters - on the one hand, we saw a reduction in essential minerals in the blood (calcium, magnesium, iron) and an increase in LDH (marker of tissue damage); on the other hand, we saw an improvement in markers of liver and kidney function, inflammation markers and cholesterol levels. In terms of the microbiome, we have found only a minimal difference between the effects of the two bread (two microbial taxa that were increased with white bread) - but in general, we saw that the microbiome was very resilient to this intervention. This is surprising as the current paradigm in the field is that a change in nutrition rapidly changes the makeup of the microbiome. We say that this is probably dependent on the kind of change - as we had a nutritional change here which was significant enough to change clinical parameters, which we tend to think of as very stable, and yet had a minimal effect on the microbiome. At this point, there were two possible explanations to what we saw: The first is that bread had an effect in our intervention, but it was very similar between those two very distinct types. The second is that these two distinct types indeed had different effects, but they were different for each subject - and thus cancel out when we look at the entire population.
ASCO, Author Interviews, Colon Cancer, Exercise - Fitness, Nutrition, UCSF / 06.06.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Erin Van Blarigan, ScD Assistant Professor, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics UC San Francisco MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: There are over 1.3 million colorectal cancer survivors in the United States. Cancer survivors often seek guidance on what they can do to lower their risk of cancer recurrence and death. In response to patient interest and the need for improved survivorship care, the American Cancer Society (ACS) published guidelines on nutrition and physical activity for cancer survivors. The guidelines are to: 1) achieve and maintain a healthy body weight; 2) engage in regular physical activity; and 3) achieve a dietary pattern that is high in vegetables, fruits, and whole grains.
Author Interviews, JAMA, Salt-Sodium / 05.06.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_35054" align="alignleft" width="200"]Jennifer Poti, PhD Research Assistant Professor Nutritional Epidemiology Gillings School of Global Public Health University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Dr. Poti[/caption] Jennifer Poti, PhD Research Assistant Professor Nutritional Epidemiology Gillings School of Global Public Health University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Although strong evidence links excessive sodium intake to hypertension, a leading risk factor for cardiovascular disease, the majority of American children and adults have sodium intake that exceeds the recommended upper limit for daily sodium intake. To lower sodium intake at the population-level, the Institute of Medicine has recommended that reducing sodium in packaged foods will be essential and has emphasized the need to monitor sodium in the US food supply. However, little is known about whether sodium in packaged foods has changed during the past 15 years.
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Mediterranean Diet, Nutrition / 15.05.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_34569" align="alignleft" width="140"]Antonio Giordano MD PhD Sbarro Institute for Cancer Research and Molecular Medicine and Center for Biotechnology College of Science and Technology Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Department of Life, Health and Environmental Sciences University of L'Aquila, L'Aquila, Italy Dr. Giordano[/caption] Antonio Giordano MD PhD Sbarro Institute for Cancer Research and Molecular Medicine and Center for Biotechnology
College of Science and Technology
Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The Mediterranean diet is considered to be one of the healthiest nutrition patterns. Tomatoes, in particular, which are consumed worldwide, and a basic ingredient of the Mediterranean diet, have been postulated to have a cancer preventive role at least for some tumor types, although few studies analyzed the effects of tomatoes in their entirety in different stages of cancer progression. Here, we focused on an in vitro model of gastric cancer because it is still one of the most common and deadly cancers and its development is strongly influenced by certain eating habits. Our results showed a possible role of tomatoes against typical neoplastic features. The treatment with tomato extracts affected the ability of cancer cell growth both in adherence and in semisolid mediums. Moreover, tomato extracts affected key processes within the cell; they hindered migration ability, arrested cell cycle through the modulation of retinoblastoma tumor suppressor family proteins and specific cell cycle inhibitors, and induced cancer cell death through apoptosis.
Author Interviews, Nutrition, Social Issues / 10.05.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jay L. Zagorsky Center for Human Resource Research The Ohio State University and Patricia K. Smith PhD Department of Social Sciences University of Michigan-Dearborn MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The prevalence of adult obesity in the U.S. has risen substantially, from about 13% in the early 1960s to nearly 38% now.  Obesity is associated with a variety of illnesses and imposes significant costs on individuals and society. Socioeconomic (SES) gradients in health and the prevalence of disease, including obesity, have been documented: health improves and disease prevalence falls as we move up each step of the SES ladder.  Differences in nutrition could help explain these health gradients and Americans commonly think the poor eat fast food more often than those in the middle and upper classes. Policy based on this notion has been proposed.  For example, in 2008 Los Angeles placed a moratorium on new fast-food restaurants in poor neighborhoods.
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Diabetologia, Nutrition, Pediatrics / 07.05.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_34452" align="alignleft" width="150"]Sari Niinistö, PhD Senior Researcher, Public Health Solutions, Nutrition Unit National Institute for Health and Welfare Helsinki, Finland Dr. Niinistö[/caption] Sari Niinistö, PhD Senior Researcher, Public Health Solutions, Nutrition Unit National Institute for Health and Welfare Helsinki, Finland MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Previous prospective studies have observed protective association between fish-derived fat and type 1 diabetes related autoimmunity in older children. Also some other fatty acids have been associated with the risk for type 1 diabetes associated autoimmunity. We wanted to study very young children, because type 1 diabetes associated autoimmunity often begins early, already in infancy. Therefore, we investigated whether serum fatty acid levels during infancy or the main dietary sources of fatty acids (breast milk and infant formula) were related to the development of autoimmunity responses among children at increased genetic risk of developing type 1 diabetes.
Author Interviews, Microbiome, Nutrition, Weight Research / 28.04.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_34218" align="alignleft" width="200"]Krzysztof Czaja VBDI, D.V.M Associate professor of veterinary biosciences and diagnostic imaging College of Veterinary Medicine University of Georgia Dr. Krzysztof Czaja[/caption] Krzysztof Czaja VBDI, D.V.M Associate professor of veterinary biosciences and diagnostic imaging College of Veterinary Medicine University of Georgia MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The neural regulation of food intake and satiety in rodents and human are similar. Therefore, rodent model is well established in studying neural regulation in obesity in humans. MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings? Response: We determined that diets rich in sugar, and many “diet products” contain high amount of sugar (sometimes under different names), increase efficiency of accumulation of body and liver fat. We also found that sugar-rich diets change the gut microflora toward overpopulation of enterotoxic bacteria, damaging neural gut-brain communication and disrupting neural regulation of food intake. The implications of our results on human health are very significant because they show that diets rich in sugar changes the brain circuits responsible for food intake and satiety, induces chronic inflammation and symptoms of non-alcoholic liver disease (NALD).
Author Interviews, Kidney Disease, Mineral Metabolism, Nutrition, Social Issues, Transplantation / 25.04.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_34207" align="alignleft" width="133"]Ms. Shifra Mincer Medical Student in the class of 2019 SUNY Downstate Medical School Shifra Mincer[/caption] Ms. Shifra Mincer Medical Student in the class of 2019 SUNY Downstate Medical School MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Hypophosphatemia is commonly encountered in the post-transplant setting. Early post-transplant hypophosphatemia has been ascribed to excess FGF23 and hyperphosphaturia. Many patients remain hypohosphatemic months or even years after their transplant and the mechanism was assumed to be the same, however, our group recently reported that patients with late post-transplant hypophosphatemia had very little phosphorous in their urine (Wu S, Brar A, Markell, MS. Am J Kidney Dis. 2016,67(5): A18). We hypothesized that they were not eating enough phosphorous to compensate for the acute phosphorous losses they experienced immediately post-transplant. In this study, using both 3-day diet journals and 24-hour diet recall questionnaires, we found that mean intake of phosphorous and protein was barely at the Recommended Daily Allowance, and that despite 70% of the patients using EBT, 30% of those patients still reported concerns regarding food security. Patients who reported that the cost of food influenced their dietary choices ate 43% less protein (average 48,5 gms vs. 85.8 gms) and 29% less phosphorous (average 887 mg vs 1257 mg). When ability to rise from a chair over a 30 second period was evaluated, only patients who expressed food cost concerns were unable to complete the test.
Author Interviews, Sugar / 22.04.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_33908" align="alignleft" width="180"]Thomas Farley, MD, MPH Health Commissioner Department of Public Health City of Philadelphia Dr. Thomas Farley[/caption] Thomas Farley, MD, MPH Health Commissioner Department of Public Health City of Philadelphia MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Messages in the mass media have been used in anti-smoking campaigns, but have not be used much for other health-related behaviors.  Sugar-sweetened beverages are major contributors to the obesity epidemic in the United States, so they are an important public health target. In this study we evaluated a brief counter-advertising campaign in a rural area of Tennessee, Virginia, and Kentucky designed to reduce consumption of these beverages.  After the campaign, adults in the area were more wary of sugary drinks, and sales of sugary drinks fell by about 4% relative to changes in a matched comparison area.
Aging, Author Interviews, Hepatitis - Liver Disease, Nutrition / 21.04.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_34061" align="alignleft" width="151"]Leyuan Liu, Ph.D., Assistant Professor Center for Translational Cancer Research Institute of Biosciences and Technology Texas A&M University Houston, Texas 77030 Dr. Liu[/caption] Leyuan Liu, Ph.D., Assistant Professor Center for Translational Cancer Research Institute of Biosciences and Technology Texas A&M University Houston, Texas 77030 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Our research team has been working on the question why people develop cancers and how we can prevent or cure them. In contrast to public views, we concluded from our studies that cancers, similar to our age-related diseases, originate from inefficiencies of our body to clean up cellular wastes accumulated during our lifespan. The most important pathway to clean up those wastes is called autophagy, or cellular self-eating behavior. We study how autophagy is regulated, how autophagy causes cancers, and whether we can control autophagy to prevent or cure cancers. Previously we found autophagy is regulated by a protein called MAP1S and mice without MAP1S are more likely to develop liver cancer. We have been seeking ways to improve MAP1S-mediated autophagy to prevent liver cancer. Our current study show that spermidine, a natural component existing in many foods, can increase the stability of MAP1S proteins and activate MAP1S-mediated autophagy. Concurrent with the benefits of expand mouse lifespans ours also reported, spermidine can suppress the development of liver fibrosis and liver cancer specifically through MAP1S if we add spermidine into the daily drinking water of mice.
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Nutrition, PLoS / 19.04.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Huaidong Du Senior Research Fellow China Kadoorie Biobank Medical Research Council Population Health Research Unit Clinical Trial Service Unit & Epidemiological Studies Unit Nuffield Department of Population Health Oxford UK MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: This research article describes findings from the China Kadoorie Biobank study which is a large population based prospective cohort study including about 0.5 million adults recruited from 10 areas in China. The main reason for us to perform this study is because previous evidence on potential benefit of fruit consumption in diabetes prevention and management is very limited. The sugar content of fruit has led to concerns in many parts of the world (e.g. China and several other Asian countries) about its potential harm for people with (high risk of) diabetes. This has consequently Chinese people diagnosed with diabetes tend to restrict their fruit intake. With the rapid increase of diabetes incidence in China and many other Asian countries, it is critically important to investigate the associations of fruit consumption with the incidence diabetes and, among those with diabetes already, diabetic macro- and microvascular complications. Through analysing data collected during 7 years of follow-up, the study found that people who eat fresh fruit more frequently are at lower risk of developing diabetes and diabetes related vascular complications. Compared with non-consumers, those who ate fresh fruit daily had a 12% lower risk of developing diabetes. Among participants with diabetes at the start of the study, higher fresh fruit consumption also showed health benefits, with a 100g portion of fruit per day associated with 17% lower overall mortality, 13% lower risk of developing diabetes-related complications affecting large blood vessels (e.g. ischaemic heart disease and stroke) and 28% lower risk of developing complications affecting small blood vessels (e.g. kidney and eye diseases).
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, JAMA, Lipids, Nutrition, Stroke, Yale / 13.04.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_33863" align="alignleft" width="200"]Eric J. Brandt, MD Yale University Cardiovascular Disease Fellow Dr. Eric Brandt[/caption] Eric J. Brandt, MD Yale University Cardiovascular Disease Fellow MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: From previous studies we know that industrial trans fatty acid (trans fat) consumption is linked to elevated risk for cardiovascular disease. Even small amounts of consumption can be deleterious to cardiovascular health. In New York state, there were 11 counties that restricted the use of trans fatty acids in eateries. We compared hospitalization for heart attacks and stroke from 2002 through 2013 in counties that did and did not have restrictions. Our study found that when comparing populations within New York state that restricted the use of trans fat, compared to those that did not, there was an associated additional decline beyond temporal trends for heart attacks and stroke events combined by 6.2%.
Author Interviews, Johns Hopkins, Microbiome, Probiotics, Schizophrenia / 10.04.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Emily G. Severance PhD Stanley Division of Developmental Neurovirology Department of Pediatrics Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine Baltimore, MD 21287 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Previously, we found that people with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder had an increased susceptibility to Candida albicans yeast infections, which was sex specific and associated with memory deficits. Also in an earlier placebo-controlled probiotic study, we found that although probiotics improved the overall bowel function of people with schizophrenia, there was no effect by this treatment on psychiatric symptoms.  Given that C. albicans infections can upset the dynamics of the human microbiome, we decided to re-evaluate the potential benefit of probiotics in the context of a patient’s C. albicans yeast status.  Not only was bowel function again enhanced following intake of probiotics, but yeast antibody levels were decreased by this treatment. Furthermore, psychiatric symptoms were actually improved over time for men receiving probiotics who did not have elevated C. albicans antibodies. Men who were positive for C. albicans exposure, however, consistently presented with worse psychiatric symptoms irrespective of probiotic or placebo treatment.
Author Interviews, Nutrition, Weight Research / 06.04.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_33736" align="alignleft" width="156"]Corrine I. Voils, PhD Research Career Scientist, William S Middleton Veterans Memorial Hospital Professor of Surgery, University of Wisconsin-Madison Dr. Corrine Voils[/caption] Corrine I. Voils, PhD Research Career Scientist, William S Middleton Veterans Memorial Hospital Professor of Surgery, University of Wisconsin-Madison MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Keeping weight off is hard due to physical and behavioral factors. When people lose weight, their metabolism slows down a bit, making it difficult to keep off the weight. It is also difficult to keep off the weight because people don’t continually engage in behavioral skills such weighing yourself regularly. Our study focused on the behavioral component of weight loss maintenance. After losing an average of 16 pounds initially, the maintenance group regained less than 2 pounds (net weight loss around 14 pounds), whereas the usual care group regained more than 5 pounds (net weight loss less than 11 pounds).
Author Interviews, Fertility, OBGYNE, Omega-3 Fatty Acids, Weight Research / 04.04.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_33632" align="alignleft" width="133"]Alex J. Polotsky, MD Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology University of Colorado Denver Practice homepage Dr. Polotsky[/caption] Alex J. Polotsky, MD Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology University of Colorado Denver Practice homepage MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: It has been well established that profound dietary changes occurred over the past 100 years. The type and amount of fat consumed has changed quite a bit over the course of 20th century. Intake of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), previously consumed in large quantities by humans from vegetable and fish sources, has dropped significantly. The typical Western diet (sometimes also called the typical American diet) provides an omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acid ratio of as high as 25:1, which is quite different from what it used to up until about the 19th century (believed to be about 1:1 ratio). In animal studies, diets enriched with omega-3 PUFA enhance early embryonic development and boost progesterone secretion. Obesity is well known to be associated with decreased progesterone production in women (even if a obese woman ovulates). The reasons for this are not clear. Obesity is also a state of low-grade chronic inflammation. Omega-3 fatty acids are well known to have anti-inflammatory properties. We sought to test whether dietary supplementation with omega-3 PUFA favorably affects reproductive hormones in women and whether this effect includes normalization of progesterone production in obesity. All women in the study tolerated supplementation well, and had significantly decreased their omega-6 to omega-3 ratios (they were normalized much closer to a 1:1 ratio). Omega-3 supplementation resulted in a trend for increased progesterone in obese women, thus enhancing ovulatory function. A 16 to 22 percent increase was observed. Additionally, the supplementation resulted in reduced systemic inflammation.
Author Interviews, Nutrition, Pediatrics, Pediatrics, Weight Research / 24.03.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_33263" align="alignleft" width="143"]Brandon Auerbach, MD, MPH Acting Instructor Division of General Internal Medicine University of Washington Dr. Auerbach[/caption] Brandon Auerbach, MD, MPH Acting Instructor Division of General Internal Medicine University of Washington MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The question of whether 100% fruit juice causes poor health outcomes in children, such as weight gain, has been a subject of controversy. On one hand, 100% fruit juice contains vitamins and nutrients that many children lack, is often cheaper than whole fruit, and may help kids with limited access to healthy food meet their daily fruit requirements. On the other hand, leading nutrition experts have expressed concern that fruit juice contains amounts of sugar equal to or greater than those of sugary drinks like regular soda. Guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics warn that 100% juice can be a significant source of calories and contribute to obesity if consumed excessively. Our main finding was that consuming 1 serving/day of 100% fruit juice was not associated with weight gain in children. Children ages 1 to 6 years gained a small amount of weight, but not enough to negatively impact health. Children ages 7 and older gained no weight. We did not study amounts of 100% fruit juice higher than 1 serving/day.
Aging, Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, JAMA, Supplements / 21.03.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_33184" align="alignleft" width="140"]Richard J. Kryscio, Ph.D. Statistics and Chair, Biostatistics and Sanders-Brown Center on Aging Sanders-Brown Center on Aging University of Kentucky Dr. Richard Kryscio[/caption] Richard J. Kryscio, Ph.D. Statistics and Chair, Biostatistics and Sanders-Brown Center on Aging Sanders-Brown Center on Aging University of Kentucky  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: At the time the trial was initiated (2002), there was ample evidence that oxidative stress is an important mechanism in brain aging. Research showed that protein oxidation is linked to the brain’s response to the abnormal proteins seen in Alzheimer disease (amyloid beta plaques in particular) leading to inflammation, DNA repair problems, reduced energy production, and other cellular changes that are identified mechanisms in the Alzheimer brain. Both vitamin E and selenium are antioxidants. Antioxidants, either through food or supplements, are believed to reduce oxidative stress throughout the body. In the brain, they may reduce the formation of amyloid beta plaques, reduce brain inflammation, and improve other brain processes. Studies in humans support these hypotheses. The Rotterdam study in the Netherlands, as an example, showed that initial blood levels of vitamin E could predict dementia risk. Those people with higher vitamin E levels were 25% less likely to develop dementia. Also, selenium deficiency results in cognitive difficulties and several population-based studies have shown an association between selenium level and cognitive decline (lower selenium levels are linked to thinking changes in the elderly).
Author Interviews, Sugar / 20.03.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_33159" align="alignleft" width="150"]Shu Wen Ng, Ph.D., FTOS Research Associate Professor, Department of Nutrition Gillings School of Global Public Health Fellow, Carolina Population Center Duke-UNC Center for Behavioral Economics and Healthy Food Choice Research University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Dr. Shu Wen Ng[/caption] Shu Wen Ng, Ph.D., FTOS Research Associate Professor, Department of Nutrition Gillings School of Global Public Health Fellow, Carolina Population Center Duke-UNC Center for Behavioral Economics and Healthy Food Choice Research University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The Mexican government enacted a 1 peso per liter tax on sugar sweetened beverages (SSB) after studies showed that more than 70 percent of the country’s population was overweight or obese, and that in excess of 70 percent of the added sugar calories in the Mexican diet were coming from SSBs. We were interested in learning how purchases of SSBs and other beverages changed in the 2 years after the tax was implemented in Mexico. The Health Affairs study titled “In Mexico, Evidence Of Sustained Consumer Response Two Years After Implementing A Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Tax” found that in the two-year period spanning 2014 to 2015, the tax resulted in a 5.5 percent reduction in the first year and continued to decline, averaging 9.7 percent the second year, with lower socioeconomic households, for whom health care costs are most burdensome, lowered their purchases of sweetened beverages the most. Meanwhile, purchases of untaxed beverages such as bottled water increased 2.1 percent.
Author Interviews, Nutrition / 19.03.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Lillian MacNell PhD Assistant Professor Department of Public Health Campbell University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: There’s been a lot of research done on how to define and measure food deserts (areas with limited access to supermarkets), and some other studies on the dietary and related health effects of living in a food desert. But there’s been a lot less attention paid to how the people who live in those food deserts deal with this—how do they feel it affects them? How and where do they shop for food? In this study, we wanted to get a better understanding of the daily reality of living in a food desert and the strategies that people use to respond to low access to food. We interviewed 42 low-income mothers and grandmothers of young children in one urban food desert about this, and we also profiled the available food stores in the neighborhood to get a sense of what’s available for these families. One thing we found is that most of the food stores in the neighborhood were small corner and convenience stores; these rarely offered fresh fruits and vegetables, and only a few carried canned produce or other nutritious options like low-fat milk and wheat bread. When we did see those items in the neighborhood, they cost about 25% more than they did at the nearest supermarkets. So in terms of the environment, these women were working with fewer options at a higher price, unless they traveled outside of their neighborhoods to reach large supermarkets.
Author Interviews, JAMA, Sugar / 08.03.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_32657" align="alignleft" width="200"]Marlene B. Schwartz PhD Director, Rudd Center for Obesity & Food Policy (Principal Investigator) Professor, Department of Human Development and Family Studies University of Connecticut Hartford, CT 06103 Dr. Schwartz[/caption] Marlene B. Schwartz PhD Director, Rudd Center for Obesity & Food Policy (Principal Investigator) Professor, Department of Human Development and Family Studies University of Connecticut Hartford, CT 06103 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?  Response: The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of a community-wide campaign to reduce consumption of sugary beverages in Howard County, Maryland. We measured the retail sales of sugary drinks in supermarkets in the target community and a set of matched control supermarkets in another state. The campaign included multiple components over three years, including television advertising, digital marketing, direct mail, outdoor advertising, social media and earned media, creating 17 million impressions. The community partners successfully advocated for public policies to encourage healthy beverage consumption in schools, child care, health care and government settings.
Author Interviews, Circadian Rhythm, Nutrition, Sleep Disorders, Weight Research / 01.03.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Mirkka Maukonen MSc (nutrition), PhD Candidate the National Institute for Health and Welfare, Department of Public Health Solutions Helsinki, Finland MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Recent literature has highlighted the importance of sleep and circadian rhythms in development of obesity and metabolic dysfunctions. Furthermore, it has been suggested that in addition to quality of the diet also meal timing may play role in development of obesity. For example, skipping breakfast and eating at later times in the evening have been associated with higher BMI. However, little is known about how the timing of circadian rhythms (chronotype) affects timing of energy intake and its association with metabolic health.
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, Microbiome, Nutrition, Race/Ethnic Diversity / 23.02.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_32312" align="alignleft" width="200"]Akira Sekikawa, Ph.D.</strong> Associate professor of epidemiology University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health Dr. Sekikawa[/caption] Akira Sekikawa, Ph.D. Associate professor of epidemiology University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: We found that Japanese men who are able to produce equol—a substance made by some types of “good” gut bacteria when they metabolize isoflavones (micronutrients found in dietary soy)—have lower levels of a risk factor for heart disease than their counterparts who cannot produce it. All monkeys can produce equol, as can 50 to 70 percent of people in Asian countries. However, only 20 to 30 percent of people in Western countries can. Scientists have known for some time that isoflavones protect against the buildup of plaque in arteries, known as atherosclerosis, in monkeys, and are associated with lower rates of heart disease in people in Asian countries. It was surprising when a large trial of isoflavones in the U.S. didn’t show the beneficial effects on atherosclerosis. My colleagues and I recruited 272 Japanese men aged 40 to 49 and performed blood tests to find out if they were producing equol. After adjusting for other heart disease risk factors such as high blood pressure, cholesterol, smoking and obesity as well as dietary intake of isoflavones, we found that the equol-producers had 90-percent lower odds of coronary artery calcification, a predictor of heart disease, than the equol non-producers.
Aging, Author Interviews, Nutrition / 14.02.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_32022" align="alignleft" width="160"]John C. Price, Ph.D Asst. Professor Chemistry and Biochemistry Brigham Young University Provo, Utah Dr. John Price[/caption] John C. Price, Ph.D Asst. Professor Chemistry and Biochemistry Brigham Young University Provo, Utah MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Since 1930 it has been known that the rate of biological aging could be modified by the diet.  In mice for example if you let them eat as much as they want they will live almost 3 years.  Providing essentially the same diet but controlling the number of total calories, there is an almost linear increase in lifespan as you restrict calories.  The studies in mice and rats have been repeated hundreds of times since that time.  There have been a lot of somewhat conflictive observations, like increased formation of new mitochondria, and increased autophagy which targets organelles for degradation, during stable reduced calorie intake. This expectation, that a restricted diet with fewer calories available to the animal could support increased protein synthesis and degradation and result in increased lifespan, is what got us interested in studying Calorie Restriction.  So we measured the relative synthesis rates for several hundred proteins in 18 month old calorie restricted mice which were experiencing the benefits of improved health and lifespan.  We found overwhelmingly that the calorie restricted mice had reduced synthesis rates down to as low as 25% of the age matched control group.  This observation has now been independently confirmed by multiple groups.
Author Interviews, Global Health, Nutrition, Pediatrics, Weight Research / 07.02.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_31779" align="alignleft" width="135"]Lara Dugas, PhD, MPH, FTOS Public Health Sciences Loyola University Chica Dr. Lara Dugas[/caption] Lara Dugas, PhD, MPH, FTOS Public Health Sciences Loyola University Chicago MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Our NIH-funded study is led by Dr. Amy Luke, Public Health Sciences, Loyola University Chicago, and is titled “Modeling the Epidemiologic Transition study” or METS. It was initiated in 2010, and 2,500 young African-origin adults were recruited from 5 countries, spanning the Human Development Index (HDI), a WHO index used to rank countries according to 4 tiers of development. The 5 countries include the US, Seychelles, Jamaica, South Africa, and Ghana. Within each country 500 young adults, 25-45 yrs., and 50% male, were recruited and followed prospectively for 3 years. Each year, contactable participants completed a health screening, body composition, wore an activity monitor for 7 days, and told researchers everything they had eaten in the preceding 24hrs. Our main research questions we were trying to answer were to understand the impact of diet and physical activity on the development of obesity, and cardiovascular disease in young adults. It was important to have countries spanning the HDI, with differences in both country-level dietary intake and physical activity levels.
Author Interviews, Coffee, Nutrition, Weight Research / 31.01.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_31650" align="alignleft" width="165"]Ruopeng An, PhD Assistant Professor Department of Kinesiology and Community Health College of Applied Health Sciences University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Champaign, IL 61820 Dr. Ruopeng An[/caption] Ruopeng An, PhD Assistant Professor Department of Kinesiology and Community Health College of Applied Health Sciences University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Champaign, IL 61820 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Coffee and tea are among the most widely consumed beverages in U.S. adults.1,2 Unlike other popular beverages including alcohol and sugar-sweetened beverages that are typically consumed in isolation, many people prefer drinking coffee and tea with add-ins like sugar or cream. These add-in items are often dense in energy and fat but low in nutritional value. Drinking coffee and tea with add-ins on a regular basis might impact an individual’s daily energy/nutrient intake and diet quality.3 The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans suggests that “coffee, tea, and flavored waters also can be selected, but calories from cream, added sugars, and other additions should be accounted for within the eating pattern.”4 To our knowledge, no study has been conducted to assess consumption of coffee and tea with add-ins in relation to daily energy and nutrient intake at the population level. Bouchard et al. examined the association between coffee and tea consumption with add-ins and body weight status rather than energy/nutrient intake, and consumption was measured by a few frequency-related questions instead of a 24-hour dietary recall.5 The purpose of this study was to examine consumption of coffee and tea with add-ins (e.g., sugar, cream) in relation to energy, sugar, and fat intake among U.S. adults 18 years of age and above. Data came from 2001-2012 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), comprising a nationally-representative (biennially) repeated cross-sectional sample of 13,185 and 6,215 adults who reported coffee and tea consumption in in-person 24-hour dietary recalls, respectively.
Author Interviews, Nutrition, Sugar, Weight Research / 23.01.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Marta Alegret Department of Pharmacology, Toxicology and Therapeutic Chemistry Pharmacology Section School of Pharmacy and Food Sciences University of Barcelona MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: In humans, an excessive intake of sugars has been linked to the development of metabolic disturbances, and therefore to an increase in the risk for cardiovascular diseases. Specifically, increased consumption of simple sugars in liquid form, as beverages sweetened with high fructose corn syrup or sucrose, has been linked to obesity, insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. However, two questions remain unresolved: what is/are the underlying molecular mechanism(s) linking these metabolic alterations to cardiovascular diseases? Are the adverse cardiovascular and metabolic effects of sugar-sweetened beverages merely the consequence of the increase in caloric intake caused by their consumption? To answer to these questions, we performed a study in female rats, which were randomly assigned to three groups: a control group, without any supplementary sugar; a fructose-supplemented group, which received a supplement of 20% weight/volume fructose in drinking water; and a glucose-supplemented group, supplemented with 20% weight/volume glucose in drinking water.
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, Lipids, Omega-3 Fatty Acids / 21.01.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dominik D Alexander, PhD, MSPH Principal Epidemiologist EpidStat Institute Ann Arbor, MI Seattle, WA MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: In recent years, the body of scientific literature on n-3 LCPUFA (EPA/DHA) intake and coronary heart disease (CHD) risk has exploded with mixed results. It was only logical to conduct a comprehensive meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) to estimate the effect of EPA+DHA on CHD, and to conduct a comprehensive meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies to estimate the association between EPA+DHA intake and CHD risk. Among RCTs, there was a nonstatistically significant reduction in CHD risk with EPA+DHA provision (SRRE=0.94; 95% CI, 0.85-1.05). Subgroup analyses of data from RCTs indicated a statistically significant CHD risk reduction with EPA+DHA provision among higher-risk populations, including participants with elevated triglyceride levels (SRRE=0.84; 95% CI, 0.72-0.98) and elevated low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (SRRE=0.86; 95% CI, 0.76-0.98). Meta-analysis of data from prospective cohort studies resulted in a statistically significant SRRE of 0.82 (95% CI, 0.74-0.92) for higher intakes of EPA+DHA and risk of any CHD event.
Author Interviews, NIH, Nutrition, Weight Research / 20.01.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_31358" align="alignleft" width="144"]Janet M. de Jesus, M.S., R.D. Program Officer, Implementation Science Center for Translation Research and Implementation Science (CTRIS) National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Janet de Jesus[/caption] Janet M. de Jesus, M.S., R.D. Program Officer, Implementation Science Center for Translation Research and Implementation Science (CTRIS) National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for the DASH diet? What are the main components? Response: The DASH eating plan was created for a clinical trial funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI). DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. The goal of the original DASH trial was to test the eating plan compared to a typical American diet (at the time in the 1990s) on the effect of blood pressure. The DASH eating plan is rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. It includes low-fat dairy products, poultry, fish, legumes, vegetable oils, and nuts; and limits intake of sweets and sugar-sweetened beverages and high-fat meats. The eating plan is a good source of potassium, magnesium, and calcium. The DASH eating plan was shown to reduce blood pressure and improve lipid profiles. A second DASH trial, “DASH-sodium,” showed that adding sodium reduction to the DASH eating plan reduced blood pressure even more.